Elon Musk’s newest challenge: Defending the QAnon Shaman and his function on Jan. 6

With Tesla’s competitors(Opens in a brand new tab) heating up, an impossible-to-meet Neuralink deadline, and tanking(Opens in a brand new tab) Twitter revenues, one would assume that Elon Musk has his fingers full. However, recent off publicly demeaning a well-respected former worker and questioning the incapacity that the employee has, Musk has taken up a brand new challenge.

For the previous day, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has taken to Twitter to defend Jacob Chansley, higher often called the QAnon Shaman. Chansely is among the extra recognizable figures from the storming of the Capitol constructing on Jan. 6, 2021, the place he and hundreds of others tried to overturn the presidential election outcomes and declare Donald Trump the winner.

“Free Jacob Chansley,” Musk tweeted(Opens in a new tab) on Friday in regards to the right-wing conspiracy theorist who joined the pro-Trump mob in breaking into the Capitol constructing. 


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Musk included a video in his publish exhibiting Chansley in his now-infamous QAnon Shaman getup together with face paint, horned helmet, and fur cap. Within the video, Chansley reads out a Trump tweet from the top of the day on Jan. 6 telling his supporters to depart the Capitol and go residence. Chansley publicizes that he’s going to abide by Trump’s request within the clip.

In one other tweet, Musk shared an extra clip aired on Fox New’s Tucker Carlson Tonight that exhibits Chansley following Capitol police as he enters the Senate ground.

“Chansley bought 4 years in jail for a non-violent, police-escorted tour!?” Musk said(Opens in a new tab) within the tweet, repeating the identical language that the Fox Information host used within the clip. “Dave Chapelle was violently assaulted on stage by a man with a knife. That man bought a $3000 superb & no jail time.”

Musk continued his protection of Chansley in replies to different Twitter customers.

“Chansley was falsely portrayed within the media as a violent felony who tried to overthrow the state and who urged others to commit violence,” tweeted(Opens in a new tab) Musk. “However right here he’s urging folks to be peaceable and go residence.”

“The Capitol Police actually opened the Senate chamber door for him on digicam!” Musk stated in one other reply(Opens in a new tab) about how the video was being fact-checked on Instagram. “However who’re you going to consider, Instagram “fact-checkers” or your individual mendacity eyes!?”

Musk’s current statements about Jan. 6 come after Republicans, who now management the Home, supplied hours of beforehand unseen safety digicam footage to Fox Information’ Carlson. The host has been working a number of segments this previous week exhibiting cherry-picked footage of moments the place the pro-Trump mob, who broke down doorways and home windows to enter the Capitol constructing that day, have been shuffling round contained in the constructing and never actively performing out violently within the second.


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Nevertheless, like Carlson, Musk has misportrayed what went on to his viewers of greater than 130 million Twitter followers.

A lot of what’s seen on this footage has beforehand been portrayed through clips taken from these contained in the constructing and has been publicly accessible. Within the month following the Jan. 6 rebel, Capitol police investigated(Opens in a brand new tab) dozens of officers as a result of footage being shared on social media exhibiting cops escorting and aiding the rioters.

Whereas Chansley’s eccentric costume actually formed the media protection round him, he was one of many first to enter the constructing that day. In a video(Opens in a brand new tab) proven at his trial, Chansley could be seen with the group breaking home windows on the Capitol constructing. He’s additionally seen getting into by means of one of many doorways that have been damaged into. As well as, Chansley left behind a “threatening(Opens in a brand new tab)” letter for then-Vice President Mike Pence on the Capitol constructing.

As for the “unseen” video of Chansley telling rioters to go residence on the behest of Trump, that too has lengthy been accessible on-line. In truth, only one month after the storming of the Capitol, Rep. Diana DeGette entered footage(Opens in a brand new tab) of Chansley’s studying of Trump’s tweet into the Congressional document to be able to present that then-President Trump was in a position to management the mob and will have ended the riots earlier if he so selected to.

Further footage(Opens in a brand new tab) of Chansley reciting Trump’s tweet was performed final summer season at a Jan. 6 listening to. This second was additionally captured within the last report(Opens in a brand new tab) from the Jan. 6 Committee.

Chansley finally plead responsible in November 2021 to “one depend of obstruction of an official continuing,” a felony punishable by as much as 5 years in jail. The person often called the QAnon Shaman is presently serving a 41-month sentence. Additionally, opposite to Musk’s declare, the person who tried to stab comic Dave Chappelle was sentenced(Opens in a brand new tab) to jail for 270 days.

Musk did appear to stroll again his earlier, extra affirmative statements in regards to the QAnon Shaman’s innocence in his final tweet late Friday.

“Yeah, I agree he ought to get non-zero punishment, however 4 years in jail is an excessive amount of for a non-violent crime,” Musk tweeted(Opens in a new tab) in response to a different person.

However as of Saturday morning, Musk was again on board along with his unique statements, even mockingly referencing an earlier interview from Chansley the place he claimed he stopped his fellow Trump supporters from stealing muffins within the Capitol constructing.

“Let him out,” said(Opens in a new tab) Musk. “This shaman/muffin-guardian is clearly not going to overthrow the state.”